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Chelsea identify Romeo Lavia as possible Kante successor

According to Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri, Chelsea consider Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia as a potential successor to N’Golo Kante.

The 18-year-old signed for Southampton from Manchester City for £12 million last summer. He was superb for the club in the early weeks of the season before suffering a hamstring injury. Lavia managed to make his comeback before the World Cup but Tavolieri claims that he could soon leave the club.

Chelsea made an audacious £50 million bid for Lavia before last summer’s transfer deadline after being impressed by his performances at St Mary’s. Southampton were in no mood to sell him at that point but it is reported that the London giants are still considering the Belgian as a successor to Kante.

Difficult task

Lavia was a relatively unknown when he joined Southampton from the Premier League holders last summer. The teenager has since impressed with his tackling, interceptions and passing accuracy. He has also looked at home in the Premier League with his good physical presence at the heart of the midfield.

The youngster could be seen as a replacement for the injury-plagued N’Golo Kante at Chelsea. The World Cup winner’s contract expires at the end of the season and the club have no plans to renew as of now. Lavia would be a quality purchase for the London giants as he has not shown any weaknesses at such a young age.

However, the big stumbling block for them is the fact that Manchester City have the option to buy him back in future. The value currently stands at £40 million and Pep Guardiola’s team could activate the clause if they become aware that Southampton are willing to sell Lavia, just months after landing his signature.

The ideal situation for Southampton would be to develop him for another few years before him rejoining the reigning English champions. Hence, Chelsea are facing a losing battle as City can control the player’s future. They can only sign him if the Mancunian giants decide against triggering the buy-back clause.

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